SharePoint 2010 ships with native support for Silverlight what makes creating Rich Internet Applications (RIA) easier and faster. And although Silverlight has been around for a couple of years now, there is more to developing Silverlight RIAs on SharePoint 2010. While you could use the classic – web-services-based approach, SharePoint 2010 ships with the Silverlight Object Model which makes it easy to work with data from SharePoint in Silverlight applications.
The Microsoft Silverlight 4 and SharePoint 2010 Integration book covers the basics of developing Silverlight applications on the SharePoint 2010 platform. The book begins with a global overview of what Silverlight is and what integration capabilities provided with SharePoint 2010 are: all of this supported with some easy to follow samples. Through the next chapters the book discusses the integration capabilities in more detail and focuses on different pieces such as the Silverlight Object Model, Business Connectivity Services (BCS) and the SharePoint Data Services.
Although the book targets developers who have previous SharePoint experience it provides in-depth explanation of new capabilities of SharePoint 2010, so if you haven’t done that much with the newest version of SharePoint, you won’t feel lost. The detailed explanation of different pieces of the sample solutions makes it easy to learn from the examples and the clear chapter structure makes it possible to skip the pieces that you are already familiar with.
Because the book doesn’t cover the basics of SharePoint and Silverlight development, it isn’t really suited for beginner developers. Having understanding of how development on both platforms looks like is required before you start reading this book. On the other hand the Microsoft Silverlight 4 and SharePoint Integration book doesn’t cover more advanced topics such as decoupling the data layer from the UI or discussing different deployment capabilities for Silverlight applications in SharePoint 2010 and when to use which, what doesn’t make it a book for advanced developers. In fact it’s a book that provides an intermediate-level overview of how you could leverage Silverlight 4 to create RIAs on the SharePoint 2010 platform.
Microsoft Silverlight 4 and SharePoint 2010 Integration is an interesting and easy to read book that explains the new capabilities of SharePoint 2010 for creating Rich Internet Applications using Silverlight 4. It provides good overview of both SharePoint 2010 and Silverlight 4 and is a good starting point for exploring more advanced RIA topics. If you are interested in leveraging Silverlight for creating rich applications on the SharePoint 2010 platform but you haven’t done that much with Silverlight yet, it’s a book you should read.